If you’re going to have security theater, you need props. James McCormick was sentenced yesterday in the UK to three ten-year jail terms for selling magic wands - rebranded gag golf ball finders he claimed could detect explosives.
The true name of the man most famously known as Lord George Gordon Gordon will likely never be known. His name, though false, will nevertheless live in history for pulling one of the great advance-fee cons of all time, swindling in 1872 over a million dollars out of Jay Gould, most unscrupulous of all the robber barons and no stranger himself to a long con. Gould's quest for revenge would nearly lead to a military invasion of Manitoba by the Minnesota state militia. [more inside]
On July 23, 1920, Charles Ponzi hired former Boston Post journalist William H. McMasters as his publicist, who quickly realized that his new client was defrauding the public. Just ten days later, McMasters wrote an exposé published in the Post that led to Ponzi's ultimate downfall. The newspaper won a Pulitzer. McMasters was The Man Who Time (Almost) Forgot (Via) [more inside]
"The reality is that the post-bailout era in which Goldman [Sachs] thrived has turned out to be a chaotic frenzy of high-stakes con-artistry, with taxpayers and clients bilked out of billions using a dizzying array of old-school hustles that, but for their ponderous complexity, would have fit well in slick grifter movies like The Sting and Matchstick Men. There's even a term in con-man lingo for what some of the banks are doing right now, with all their cosmetic gestures of scaling back bonuses and giving to charities. In the grifter world, calming down a mark so he doesn't call the cops is known as the "Cool Off.""
The Girl Who Cried Webmaster: "I’m annoyed and exhausted, I have a considerable load of work to take care of, and after you’ve read what appears below, you’ll probably agree that I’ve earned it."
Portrait of a Con-Artist: Due to the efforts of the site StopAglaia! (which was posted here earlier in the year), The New Jersey Star-Ledger printed this facinating story exposing a con woman of "Kaycee Nicole" proportions, and includes an interview with the woman in question. She's impersonated Denis Leary, Henry Rollins, and the manager for Bright Eyes, and she's conned both men an women out of thousands of dollars. Sadly, the printing of this article has caused StopAglaia! to shut down, but their forum is still up, so victims can trade info. [More Inside]